Lake Forest College senior golfer Ricky Schmidt was named Midwest Conference Player of the Year at the MWC Tournament on Saturday, May 4, at Aldeen Golf Club in Rockford, Illinois.
The first day of the three-day tournament was postponed due to weather so golfers were forced to play 36 holes on Friday. Schmidt carded a 76 in the morning and a 74 in the afternoon and was third in the 36-man field entering Saturday’s final round.
“It was a mental grind, but we knew we needed to stay focused,” said Schmidt regarding the first day that involved two rounds of golf. He goes on to say that, “thankfully we had all day on Thursday to rest, mentally prepare, and clear our minds to get ready to go.”
Schmidt climbed a spot to second place on Saturday with even-par round of 72, which included two birdies, two bogeys, and 14 pars. His score of 222 for the weekend broke the program’s previous 54-hole record by four strokes and his performance helped lead the Foresters to their second straight conference title. Schmidt was voted MWC Player of the Year by league coaches, whose selection is based on performance throughout the entire season.
“It was quite an honor and I feel very grateful for the opportunity,” commented Schmidt.
Schmidt attributes the award to several people in his life. “My family has been so supportive and pushes me to do better. Whenever I stepped on the course, Brian Bruha (head coach) always had confidence in me and knew that I would do my best to perform at my highest potential and Matt Jones (former assistant coach) helped me with the mental side of game and my swing. And Professor David Park has had a huge impact on both my college and golf career.”
Schmidt competed in each of the team’s events for the fourth year in a row. He led the 2018-19 Foresters with a scoring average of 75.60 and finished his career at 78.80 in 64 rounds of play. The top 10 players at the conference tournament are named All-MWC and Schmidt achieved that status each of the last three years.
Looking ahead, Schmidt will miss the camaraderie on the team and being surrounded by such a supportive group of men. “Golf is very much an individual sport, but when you get the team together, we have a lot of fun. I will also miss practicing and competing with Jacob Krugman. We’ve always had a very good relationship.”